Woman's Outlook: a surprisingly modern magazine?

Rochdale Pioneers Museum, March 2013

The talk 'Woman's Outlook: a surprisingly modern magazine?' was the culmination of several days of research into the twentieth century co-operative women's journal Woman's Outlook in the National Co-operative Archive in Manchester. A new publication was created to present the history, style and impact of the magazine, combining images and information from Woman's Outlook with interviews with two members of campaigning organisation the Co-operative Women's Guild, past and present.

For nearly five decades, Woman’s Outlook was the voice of the Co-operative Women’s Guild, providing an enticing mixture of articles addressing both the personal and the political, combining fashion, fiction, features and recipes with advice for working women. The talk ‘Woman’s Outlook: a surprisingly modern magazine?’ explored some of the key issues addressed in Outlook, including women's representation in parliament, maternity services and family planning and equal pay.

The talk concluded by comparing the subject matter of Woman's Outlook with that of a current-day women's magazine, Stylist, from reader surveys aimed at building up a picture of what it's like to be a modern women, to highlighting issues like abortion, equal pay, women's continued underrepresentation in Parliament, childcare and flexible working.

The talk 'Woman's Outlook: a surprisingly modern magazine?' was repeated at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford in May 2013, as part of its Invisible Histories series, at the People's History Museum in Manchester in March 2014 as part of Manchester Histories Festival and the Wonder Women series of events celebrating Manchester's radical women, to accompany the exhibition The People's Business – 150 Years of the Co-operative, and at Cafe Kino in Bristol (itself a co-operative), in June 2014. It was also repeated for the Social Lites Women's Institute branch in Flixton, Urmston in September 2014, and at Bradford School of Art as part of its Random Lecture series in October 2018.

Image: Woman's Outlook: a surprisingly modern magazine? (cover image of accompanying publication), Natalie Bradbury






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